Recently I was in the hospital. Today marks a week that I am back home. Official diagnosis was Sepsis, yes… I could have died.
If there is only one thing I can depend upon in life, it is that there is no way to predict with any accuracy what the next day, or even the next hour will bring. This was no different. One moment I am speaking with my sister- recovering from what I thought was a stomach bug or other similar, mostly harmless ailment- and the next moment I realize I am running a fever. A minute after that I started to feel confused… My speech slowed down, my words coming only with serious effort. I was scared.
For four nights, I was in the hospital. God provided caring people to take care of our kids. My husband brought the kids to see me each day. <3 For some reason everyone did great. My hubby did a fantastic job being Parent on Duty. He arranged care for the kids, went to work, and came home to make them dinner and put them to bed. I wish I could attribute this to my mad parenting skills, but to tell the unvarnished truth, I am one frustrated parent right now.
I am watching my younger son Minimus surpass my older son in almost every way. Minimus hears things I tell him. He complies easily (well compared to Max he does) he remembers rules and guidelines. He gets ‘stuck’ toddler style, but only about half as often and probably less, than Max did. Maximus gets stuck often, even now. Toddler style things; wrong cup, wrong person opened the bottle, food cut into squares instead of strips, choosing the ‘wrong’ underwear for the day. For a long time I had felt we were making progress, but lately…. Everything is going downhill again, but only for Maximus. L
As Minimus started really talking last year, I realized just how far behind Maximus had been… and for how long. Huge Momma-guilt attack. How long was I in denial? I don’t know.
The difference between Maximus and Minimus is this- Minimus accepts instruction. I don’t mean every single time of course. I still have to deal with shrieks and no’s and thrown toys. The difference is more subtle than that. I can’t define it, but it is there. The worst part is- Maximus SEES his little brother being more successful than he is. My friend who watched the boys one of my hospital days told me that Max played off to the side, by himself, while Minimus played games and shared toys with her two children. She brought the kids over this week so they could play and we could catch up, and I watched the same thing happen. And, as is usually the case, when they left Maximus had a full scale meltdown.
“Mommy! I had such a bad day! (Really he had done quite well) Why am I always such a bad boy??!! (I have never ONCE told him anything of the sort!) Why is it always so hard?! Why do I always have such a bad day??!!” He was sobbing, clinging to me. I wanted to cry along with him. I didn’t have any answers.
Max KNOWS. He knows that Minimus doesn’t get carried kicking and screaming from the room several times a day. He knows Minim doesn’t scream “No it isn’t!!” in response to 50% of what I say. He knows Minim doesn’t have to have his fingers pried off of dangerous things, or be physically stopped from hurting himself or others. He knows that Minim doesn’t need to hide under tables when the room gets noisy. He knows that Minim doesn’t have to fight himself not to run away at the slightest stress. He KNOWS. He is different.
It is hard to see correction and instruction bear fruit in Minimus after two or three events… and see it continue to have only partial success with Max. It is hard to continue to see him as he is. I find myself thinking, ‘He OUGHT to…’ and ‘He shouldn’t do that…’ and I feel very, very angry. Nothing like a little wasted effort to make me feel like a bomb about to go off. My praying has mostly been crying out to God, saying, ‘I don’t know how to do this!!’
Maximus had an evaluation with a pediatric psychiatrist a few weeks ago. At the end of the eval, they told me, “We feel it is Autism. We’ll send you the full report in the mail. In the meantime, please have him evaluated for Sensory Processing Disorder, and here’s a prescription for a One-on-one support person. We recommend he NOT go to kindergarten this year.”
I am still waiting for that evaluation report to arrive.